What is Kinstant Formatter?

Kinstant Formatter is a quick and easy tool that will produce a Kindle book that’s as faithful as possible to the original Word document without having to edit HTML manually.

Will it format for the Kindle Fire?

Yes! Kinstant Formatter will produce a single file that supports both KF8 and mobi formats.

Will the Kindle links work (Cover, Table of Contents, Go to beginning, Location map…)

Yes!

Are there any technical requirements?

It should work with all operating systems and modern browsers. Please make sure that you have the latest version of Adobe Flash installed and that Javascript and Cookies are enabled.

I never received my account information could you send it to me again please?

Please look in your spam for a mail from Steven Henty (email address: noreply at word2kindle.com). If you can’t find it, please open a support ticket.

Can I change my password?

Yes, once you’ve logged in, click here.

Can I change my email address?

If you need to change the email address you use to log in, please get in touch with support. Please bear in mind that using your email address to log in will not mean that we will be sending you emails all the time. We may send you the occasional email but it will only be important information about your account. This is totally separate from the mailing list which you had the opportunity to opt in to when you signed up.

Why can’t I log in?

There are a few reasons why this might be. Please bear in mind that your account will be locked automatically after 5 failed login attempts. Also, if we suspect that your account is being shared we may close it. Please contact support.

Is it suitable for all types of books?

The application best results with simple layouts like fiction and books with a few illustrative images. It doesn’t work so well with books that need a fixed layout. That said, you’ll probably find that it works perfectly, and if it doesn’t, please get in touch with support.

So how do I convert my fixed layout book into Kindle format?

Newer Kindles do have support for fixed layouts and some books, like childrens books, benefit from fixed layout designs. Unless you’re prepared to roll up your sleeves with some HTML it’s probably advisable to consult a professional designer. There are specialist tools available to do this.

My book has lots of images, will they come out ok?

It will handle any number of images absolutely fine but only if they are positioned “inline with text”. Any images that are not inline may produce unexpected results. There’s nice explanation of inline images, and why you should be using them anyway here.

Can I format my client’s books?

If you have a credit account, yes. If you don’t have a credit account then, no, your account is only for your own personal books – the books you publish in your Kindle account. If you have any doubts about this, please get in touch with support.

Where’s the documentation?

There’s a little tutorial here. We’ll be adding to it soon. Meanwhile, if there’s a question you’d like answered, please don’t hesitate to contact support.

Any tips for best results?

  • Try to divide your content into “chapters” with a Heading 1 style title. The application will add a clickable table of contents to the beginning of the book.
  • Use page breaks at the end of each chapter.
  • If you have a manual TOC, it’s probably better to remove it and let the application generate one for you.
  • Avoid fixed page layouts. Word doesn’t handle fixed layouts very well and most Kindle devices don’t understand the concept of a “page” anyway. So, if you try to get the application to convert fixed layouts you’ll be banging your head against the wall, I’m afraid.
  • Switch to “Web View” in Word so you don’t get tempted to format your text according to the page dimensions in the “Print Layout”.
  • Don’t include a cover inside the Word document. You need to upload that separately. That way you’ll be able to replace it in Amazon at any time once it’s been published.
  • The application will handle any number of images fine but only if they are positioned “inline with text”. Any images that are not inline may produce unexpected results. There’s nice explanation of inline images, and why you should be using them anyway here.
  • Make sure all your fonts (names & sizes) and paragraph & line spacing are consistent throughout your document even small differences can look really big on the Kindle.
  • Make use of “Styles” wherever possible and make changes to the styles rather than the text. This wil help to keep the file size down and it’ll help keep the look and feel of your book consistent.
  • Avoid using line breaks ([shift]+[enter]) and use paragraph breaks (just [enter]) wherever possible instead. This isn’t just for the Kindle formatting, you’ll find Word much easier to use in general. For example, if you’re using line breaks you’ll find styles virtually impossible to use because styles are applied to paragraphs.
  • Word documents can become corrupt. They can also get very bloated and messy “under the hood” if lots of changes are made to the formatting. If you’re getting very inconsistent formatting throughout the mobi, and your attempts at correcting at are starting to get frustrating, consider clearing all the formatting for the document and starting again – preferably in a new document. You may find that you need to clear the formatting by copying and pasting into a text editor like Notepad first.
  • Don’t expect perfection. The Kindle is essentially a primitive Web browser and Word is a very sophisticated Word processor so sometimes the slipper just doesn’t fit, I’m afraid.

What file formats are accepted?

Kinstant Formmatter accepts .doc, .docx and .odt (Open Office) files. Support for .odt is very much a “test” feature – you’ll probably get better results if you convert to doc. It works best with documents created with Microsoft Word. Please bear in mind that exporting documents from other software (including Open Office, Pages etc) into Word format is never 100% and this may get reflected in the final Kindle book.

Can I use transparent PNGs?

Yes, but Kindles don’t support transparent images. Normally they would show up with a black background instead of transparent which looks terrible, so your images will automatically be given a white background.

Do I need to use a specific layout or specific page dimensions in my Word document (A4, A5, margins = 0, margins = 1, etc…)?

No, the Kindles will ignore all that information. Just leave the default settings and you should be fine.

Does it have to your real name in the author box? What if I want to use pen names?

You can use any names you like! Just type your pen name in, and then use that name when you upload your book to Amazon.

Why am I getting conversion warnings?

This is usually because the cover is not big enough. Here are the requirements from Amazon:
– Minimum of 1000 pixels on the longest side
– Ideal height/width ratio of 1.6

It’s not working! Why am I getting an error?

There are a few reaons why this might be. Please make sure you have the lastest version of Flash Player installed. You can check your version here.
If you need to convert files of more than 20MB, please get in touch with support. If your file size is smaller than 20MB please log out, empty your cache, close your browser and try again. If you have a different browser installed you may want to try that. If the problem persists, please get in touch with support.

Help! I can’t find the .mobi file!

Depending on your browser settings you will either be asked where you want to save the file or be told where it’s been saved. You can usually find it in your “downloads” folder.

How do I open the .mobi file?

You can preview your .mobi file using the Kindle Previewer (Download here from Amazon). I find the best way to open it is to drag and drop your .mobi file on to the Previewer.

Why won’t isn’t my cover updating in my Kindle Reader for PC/Mac application?

The Kindle Reader is a little strange like that. It won’t update books very easily. You have to delete the mobi file from the “My Documents\My Kindle Content” folder. By the way, I recommend that you don’t use the Kindle Reader application to preview your books. In addition to this problem I’ve just described it doesn’t actually give an acccurate impression of what your book will look like on the Kindle devices. Please make sure you download and install the Kindle Previewer. I find it’s best to open the Previewer first and then drag and drop the mobi file on to the Previewer.

How do I create a table of contents?

Kinstant Formatter will insert an automatic table of contents (TOC) at the beginning of the book based on the Headings in your document (following this process). If your document already has an automatic TOC then, by default, it will get replaced at the same location.

The bullet points aren’t lined up properly. Can this be improved?

Please try the following. Select all the text in the list, clear the formatting and reapply the bullet points/numbering. To clear the formatting you can use the clear formatting button in Word or, right click, styles, clear formatting.

I’m getting strange formatting like underlining and spacing that shouldn’t be there

Word docs often become corrupt and it’s impossible to see where the problem is in Word. When this happens the only thing you can do is to clear the formatting and start again. To clear the formatting you can use the clear formatting button in Word or, right click, styles, clear formatting. If that still doesn’t work, then you may need to copy and paste the text to a text editor like Notepad first and then copy and paste it back into Word.

I’m getting a Table of Contents at the beginning of the book but I’d prefer to have something else as the first page.

Create a new page with the title Table of Contents (or anything you like) and insert a default TOC. The TOC will be replaced with a TOC suitable for the Kindle at the same location. This way you can make sure that the first page in your Word document is the first page in the Kindle version.

Can I edit the final.mobi file?

There isn’t a tool that will allow you to edit .mobi files. This application is designed to be a quick and easy tool that will produce a Kindle book that’s as faithful as possible to the original Word document. If you’re unhappy with the result it’s best to go back to the original Word document, make your changes and submit it again.

Can I use drop caps in my document?

Kindles generally don’t handle drop caps well. However, the application will replace your drop cap letters with one large letter on the same line – that way you can be sure that it’ll look ok on all devices.

Will footnotes/endnotes, bookmarks and hyperlinks work?

Yes. Footnotes/endnotes will appear at the end of the document.

Will Kinstant Formatter respect my “toc” and “start” bookmarks?

Yes. If you’ve done a bit of research then you’ll have discovered that Amazon will recognise certain bookmarks in your document. If you add a bookmark called “toc” then Amazon KDP will know where to link your “Table of Contents”. A bookmark with the name “start” will tell the Kindle where to open the book for the first time. The application will respect these bookmarks if you have inlcuded them in your document.

The application looks amazing – is there anything that it can’t do?!

It corrects a few things and it will convert most documents perfectly well. But it’s not a magic wand. It assumes that what you have in Word is what you want on the Kindle but sometimes the Kindle is less forgiving than Word and shows up the errors more clearly. Here are some examples of formatting issues I’ve seen that the application won’t fix:

  • Incorrect use of styles. If you notice that your table of contents contains sections of your body text it’s probably because, at some point, that text was given a “Heading” style and then disguised later as body text by changing the font. You may need to give it the “Normal” style. Use the built-in Heading styles and modify them if you need to – don’t try to create new styles.
  • Inconsistent use of tabs and indents. If you notice jagged indents, it might be because some of them are tabs and some of them are indents. You’ll need to choose one or the other.
  • Not using page breaks. Unlike your Word document, Kindles don’t have fixed page dimensions so you can’t assume that the page breaks will automatically appear in the same place. If you’d like your Kindle book to start a new page then insert a page break where you want it to appear.
  • Tables will only display correctly on some Kindle devices but not on all. The black and white Kindles especially have difficulty displaying tables. This is not because of the way the application generates tables, some Kindle just don’t support tables. I’d suggest trying it and checking to see what it looks like in the Previewer. Simple tables can sometimes look acceptable. If it’s not acceptable then here are a couple of ideas from the Kindle Publishing Guidelines for you to consider: 1. Offer extra/bonus content in the form of spreadsheets on your website. 2. Create an image from the table, insert the image into your document and delete the table. This is only recommended for small tables. GIF and PNG formats work better than JPEG for tables.

The following things may produce unexpected results:

  • Images that are not positioned “inline with text”. For example, two images overlapping is not going to work at all. There’s nice explanation of inline images here.
  • Images that are “linked” rather than embedded will display a red cross instead of the image. If you don’t know what linked images are it’s unlikely that your document contains them.
  • Documents exported from applications other than Microsoft Word. Open Office tends to do a better job of exporting Word documents than Pages but neither of them do the job perfectly and this can sometimes be reflected in the final .mobi file without too much rhyme or reason. Improvements are being made constantly so if you’re not happy with the results, please do get in touch and I’ll do what I can to fix it for you.

Finally, you may find that the size of the file is larger than an ebook built by hand in HTML.

Do you intend to support XYZ feature?

We have lots of hopes and plans for Kinstant Formatter but the direction of development will be led by you, the users. So, if there’s something you’d like to see implemented, we’d love to hear you ideas. Please get in touch via the support desk.

Is there an affiliate system?

Yes. Please sign up here and then get your links for Kinstant Formatter from your dashboard.

I love Kinstant Formatter! Is there anything else I can do to help?

We’d love to hear from you if you’ve found the application helpful. Feedback in itself is enormously encouraging so please don’t hold back 😉 We won’t publish your feedback as a testimonial unless you explicitly give us permission to do so.

Where can I sign up as an affiliate?

You can sign up to be an affiliate right here. 🙂

How do I contact support?

If you’ve got this far down this page then you really deserve some special attention. Click here to visit the support desk and open a ticket. I’ll respond as soon as I can. Please bear in mind that it’s just me and I’m based in Spain so you may find that I respond at strange times. ¡También en español, si lo prefieres!
Steve.